Author Topic: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People  (Read 303747 times)

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MommyPenguin

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The "winner takes all" (or the few who make it to the top levels take all) aspect of competitive sports is one of the reasons why I dislike it. I can't watch it without thinking of all the young people who get told that you will make if you give it your all, gave it their all and just weren't the 0.5% who are able to make it pro. Some sports aren't as bad but others require 100% dedication from a very young age (gymnastics, for example) in a way that I think is harmful to them, whether or not they ever make it to national level. School is often neglected or there is little time for friendship, leisure or finding themselves as people, not just gymnasts. It requires that 12 year olds train while barely recovered from injuries.
My sister's best friend had a son who did gymnastics. When he was about 12, he decided that he didn't want to compete any more. For the next year, he slept about half the time, and then shot up nearly a foot. His doctor said that gymnasts aren't gymnasts because they're small, they're small because they're gymnasts. Fortunately for this boy, he quit early enough that his body could recover and reach its full genetic potential. You have to wonder how many of those little Olympians who start in childhood and compete hard during their teens, would have been tall adults if they'd chosen a different sport.

That's really interesting.  I wonder what it is about the training that keeps people small?

My brother and I were both on the small side when we were young children.  Always the front row in class pictures, that sort of thing.  Not usually the smallest person in class, but near it.  When he was in 9th grade, he joined the golf team and was the shortest boy on it.  He didn't have the arm length or power for good drives, but he was very, very talented at the short game (putting and other shorter shots, basically).  He had the precision down pat.  He took his 10th grade year off golf and played other sports, but decided to go back to golf in 11th grade.  Well, he'd shot up something like a foot, just like the gymnastics boy, and instead of being 5'2" and the shortest boy on the team, he was 6'0" and one of the taller ones.  He said it was like learning a whole new game, because he'd lost his "feel" with his added length.  He became a powerful driver, but it took him years to relearn the precision he'd had in the short game because he was getting used to how long his arms and legs were again!  I don't think in his case that the golf limited his size at all, though, it was just a teen boy growth spurt.  (Not really relevant, but I also ended up tall in the end--I never "shot up" suddenly, just kept growing when most girls stopped.)

drzim

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The "winner takes all" (or the few who make it to the top levels take all) aspect of competitive sports is one of the reasons why I dislike it. I can't watch it without thinking of all the young people who get told that you will make if you give it your all, gave it their all and just weren't the 0.5% who are able to make it pro. Some sports aren't as bad but others require 100% dedication from a very young age (gymnastics, for example) in a way that I think is harmful to them, whether or not they ever make it to national level. School is often neglected or there is little time for friendship, leisure or finding themselves as people, not just gymnasts. It requires that 12 year olds train while barely recovered from injuries.
My sister's best friend had a son who did gymnastics. When he was about 12, he decided that he didn't want to compete any more. For the next year, he slept about half the time, and then shot up nearly a foot. His doctor said that gymnasts aren't gymnasts because they're small, they're small because they're gymnasts. Fortunately for this boy, he quit early enough that his body could recover and reach its full genetic potential. You have to wonder how many of those little Olympians who start in childhood and compete hard during their teens, would have been tall adults if they'd chosen a different sport.

I had a casual friend (I'll call her Kathy) who was a gymnast all through high school--she was short (probably 5 feet even) and did a lot of serious training.  At some point she realized that she would never be an olympic competitor, and she quit during our senior year.  I specifically remember this because it was so freaky--  during my sophomore year of college I was visiting other friends out of state and Kathy happened to be attending the same college.  I ran into her at a mutual friend's party and she was staring at me eye to eye level.  I'm 5'6" and for years in high school I literally looked down on her (because she was much shorter than me).  I guess after she stopped gymnastics she grew up to her full height. 

Jocelyn

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I think the explanation is that the child is expending so much energy on training, they can't eat enough to also give them enough calories for growth. And considering how many gymnastic coaches pressure their kids to stay skinny, the poor kids aren't getting enough calories to grow.

Dazi

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I think the explanation is that the child is expending so much energy on training, they can't eat enough to also give them enough calories for growth. And considering how many gymnastic coaches pressure their kids to stay skinny, the poor kids aren't getting enough calories to grow.

I was going to post this.   

Also,  the year I quit gymnastics, I doubled my body weight and grew so much taller that I had really bad growing pains in my upper legs. I still played sports, but the other sports  were nowhere near the intensity that gymnastics was.
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kherbert05

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I think the explanation is that the child is expending so much energy on training, they can't eat enough to also give them enough calories for growth. And considering how many gymnastic coaches pressure their kids to stay skinny, the poor kids aren't getting enough calories to grow.
From a couple things I've read it also might be they don't have enough fat in their diet also.


My cousin had a heart attack in his late 20's or early 30's- actually 2 back to to back in 48 hours. He was lucky the guy next to him at the gym was a cardiologist, who recognized the symptoms and got him to a hospital. Well when they sent him home the diet he was on was so restrictive in fats that the doctor hammered home 2 points. He needed to stay on the diet to live. His kids (Kinder and elementary aged) could not under any circumstances eat that restrictive of a diet. They wouldn't put on enough body weight to go through puberty. This was especially a concern with his daughter, because girls need a certain amount of body fat to go through puberty. Female gymnasts sometimes don't start their period, until they stop competing.


The flip side of this is we have girls starting their periods in primary school. Not just 4th and 5th but sometimes girls in 3rd or end of 2nd. I had to call 4 girl's parents (2/3 of my girls) last year to strongly suggest they start wearing either bras or at least some type of undershirt because they were starting to develop and boys were making comments. The boys (all older) got in a huge amount of trouble for making the comments.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

jedikaiti

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OK, I understand why girls in gymnastics (and any others with low body fat) would not get their period until later. However, I don't understand why girls are starting to get periods so young - I've seen it mentioned elsewhere, but my question is why?
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WolfWay

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OK, I understand why girls in gymnastics (and any others with low body fat) would not get their period until later. However, I don't understand why girls are starting to get periods so young - I've seen it mentioned elsewhere, but my question is why?
I'd perhaps suggest googling the subject for a variety of views on the subject? I'm fuzzy on where the forum's acceptability boudaries around medical subjects are, so I'm reluctant to say anything at all on the subject.

Can I just point to one study that discusses it from a sociological perspective:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-stone-age-mind/201202/why-are-girls-getting-their-periods-so-young


« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 03:47:21 AM by WolfWay »
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Venus193

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I read a few years ago about how the presence of stepfathers and stepbrothers often does this; I think the article was in Newsweek.  I mentioned this on another forum and someone posted that a divorced friend with three daughters refused even to date because this scared the daylights out of her.